Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hira-hai (shallow Sake cup)

This is a document that Mr. Masasuke Umetsu (president of Umetsu brewery) made for explaining about "Hira-hai". We used this document at the Good Food & Wine Show 2013.

Traditional sake cup "Hira-hai"
The ergonomically designed Sake cup.

The shallow, round shape of this cup is designed to allow your mouth and lips to form the best shape for enjoying sake, especially warm sake, and maximises the sensual experience.

The cup is round and made from fine porcelain.
The flat shape of the cup keeps your lips flat and creates a vertically narrow but wide space.

When you tilt the cup, sake flows into your mouth in a flat shape. It spreads over your tongue in a thin, wide film—you can taste the sake over the whole range of your tongue. Each part of your tongue is sensitive to a different taste.
You should keep the sake on your tongue for as long as possible to savour the taste—don’t send it down your throat in a hurry! With this cup, you can enjoy your sake to the full, every time you tilt your cup!

This cup only holds a small amount of sake, which is the best volume for drinking warm sake. Every mouthful can be tasted slowly at the best temperature.

The message written inside this sake cup is: ‘Sake wa junmai kan nara nao yoshi’. Junmai sake is good. Furthermore, warm junmai sake is the best.
By Hiroshi Uehara